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  • Processes division

    David recommends to divide the process, i.e. Collection and Processing. Does it mean that when I have a "stuff" coming on me I just put it into "In" for later Processing? If so let's imagine my boss passes by and delegates me to do something. I write this into my PDA as a NA into some of the @Categories. Is it correct or I should put it into the PDA without category (using for example NO category as an Inbox for all new Stuff) and Process it later with other things in the Inbox during my Inboxes Processing time in the evening?

    Please advice.

    Regards,

    Eugene.

  • #2
    There is no GTD police.

    If you have time to categorize an action when it comes in, go ahead. If you don't have time, you only have to get it into your system so you can process it later.

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    • #3
      I would throw it in my inbox (paper or electronic) and get back to what I was doing. Unless of course, processing my inbox *was* what I was doing.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        I've evolved(?) to the point where I try and put the item of "stuff" straight into the GTD system. This is how I interpret the mind like water concept (but let's not start that thread again....) If it's an NA I put it into the NA list, if it's a project then I'll make a project and try my best to make an NA for it.

        Of course it's not always possible to do this because I might be really busy at the time, so I now see the inbox as a kind of overflow when I am too stretched to process.

        The obvious advantage to processing real time is that it saves time but it's good for me to know that I've got an inbox to fall back on.

        I also find the inbox good for when I get ideas which are too quick to process (i.e. when I'm in idea mode).

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        • #5
          It's good to know there's no GTD police and anyone can Organize in the real time mode. But what category do you use as an "Inbox" in your electronic device (for those who use it)?

          PS Maybe it's a good idea to create GTD police someday?

          Regards,

          Eugene.

          Comment


          • #6
            Eugene,



            When your boss delegates something to you and you take the time to write it as a NA into your PDA - this is already organizing (assuming your PDA is your trusted system). In this case you should already processed the item given, before writing it down, and assigned it a proper context.

            If you use your PDA only as an inbox, than you probably just sketch something, not write a proper NA, and not assign a category yet.

            In any event, since most stuff delegated might be processed and organized in less than 2 min. or so - I usually process and organize the item, at once.

            hth

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            • #7
              Believe it or not, I've actually *stopped* processing on the fly...

              I used to do this all of the time when I first got started with GTD, but as I've matured with the process, I've learned to just take stuff and dump it in my inbox to deal with later.

              This has helped GREATLY with my peace of mind as well as my levels of stress.

              For example, if my boss comes by and hands me something, it goes straight into my inbox for processing later. Previously, I'd try to process and organize it right then and there, even if that wasn't the appropriate thing to do at that moment. That way, I spent more time processing, organizing, and moving things around on my lists than actually getting things done!

              And to think, I also used to go right away and check things off as soon as I completed them! Now, I just get things done... and catch everything at my weekly review.

              Now, it's during my weekly review that I'm checking things off.

              HTH,

              Jim

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Borisoff
                But what category do you use as an "Inbox" in your electronic device (for those who use it)?
                I'll try to find the most appropriate category.

                Or, I'll use a piece of paper and stick it in my inbox, knowing that I'll process it later. I actually find that paper's faster for me in the Collection phase.

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                • #9
                  Two thoughts...

                  1. One of the things I picked up at GTD Roadmap was that exceptional executives are ruthless about getting all the next actions processed immediately following a conversation or meeting. This means that for the most part they have "IN" empty multiple times a day and that their system is more or lesss complete fairly frequently. This means to me it's not only okay but desired to process immediately instead of putting into IN for later processing.

                  2. Electronic "IN" for me is one of two places: e-mail (outlook) and voice memo (palm/Tungstun T3). If I take the time to enter a task in my palm, I'll go ahead and process it into the correct Next Action category rather than leaving it unfiled. The time it takes to enter is much greater than the time it takes to categorize by context so I go ahead and do it. Paper is usually better for collecting IN, but sometimes the Palm Voice Memo can be handy, particularly when driving...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Borisoff
                    It's good to know there's no GTD police and anyone can Organize in the real time mode. But what category do you use as an "Inbox" in your electronic device (for those who use it)?
                    I do as much GTD as I can on my palmtop, but I usually use a small paper notebook and pencil for collection. There are occasions where I might not have the notebook on my person, but do have the palmtop. In this case, if I am unable to process the incoming item at that time, I will use the TODO screen of my palmtop calendar as an inbox. The item stays there until I process it. This doubles up as my tickler file, because I can put things as a TODO which come up at a future date. In this way, I see my calendar TODO as an electronic inbox which needs to be looked at every day.

                    If you're going to have an electronic inbox, the main thing is that it is easy and quick to input stuff into it and to regulary check it. The main reason I use my calendar TODO is that all I have to do is go to it and start typing, and it will automatically start a new item. And to check it I just have to go straight to it. It's not as quick though as taking out my notebook and starting writing, which is my preferred method of stuff collection.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jkgrossi
                      Believe it or not, I've actually *stopped* processing on the fly...
                      For example, if my boss comes by and hands me something, it goes straight into my inbox for processing later. Previously, I'd try to process and organize it right then and there, even if that wasn't the appropriate thing to do at that moment. That way, I spent more time processing, organizing, and moving things around on my lists than actually getting things done!
                      This approach looks nice But what would you do if your boss say that it should be done today and your inbox time is the next day morning?

                      Regards,

                      Eugene.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For Your Information

                        Just found one solution in Sally McGhee's book: she recommends just put a new NA into the system without category so all the items without category are assumed to be "Inbox".

                        What do you think?

                        Regards,

                        Eugene.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Borisoff
                          This approach looks nice But what would you do if your boss say that it should be done today and your inbox time is the next day morning?

                          Regards,

                          Eugene.
                          There are a couple of answers to this:

                          1) I process my inbox periodically throughout the day, so it would never make it to the next day w/o getting processed, and
                          2) Typically, when my boss communicates something urgent, he qualifies it with that urgency.

                          So, he'll say something like, "I need XYZ done by EOD today"...

                          Well, now we go back to using your intuition to decide what the best thing to do is in the moment. In this case, I know what the urgency is, but the outcome and NA hasn't been processed yet. I need to decide in that moment what the best use of my time and energy will be.

                          Most likely, if it's coming from my boss and it's urgent, whatever I'm working on either gets pushed aside or I tell my boss, "I'm working on ABC. If you want me to do XYZ right now, ABC will have to wait. Which one is more important to you?". I take that pressure off of myself and put it back on him.

                          So, more than likely my priorities will shift and I'll start working on XYZ right then and there. Typically, any communication that comes from my boss gets qualified either by him or me as to what the urgency is. If he says "I need XYZ, but not until 3 days from now", XYZ goes into my inbox and sits there until I can process the outcome and next action.

                          BTW, this is a perfect example of the power of flexibility that GTD promotes.

                          At the end of the day, this all goes back to understanding what "Job One" is in your profession, and developing your intuition so that you're allways focused on it. When your boss communicates something to you, if you're not in tune and ready to react in that moment, you have bigger problems than "getting things done".

                          Anyone who is not in tune to what their "Job One" is (i.e. what is most important to their customers) will be dead in the water faster than you can say "GTD", IMHO.

                          Jim
                          Last edited by jkgrossi; 04-04-2006, 06:39 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Borisoff
                            Just found one solution in Sally McGhee's book: she recommends just put a new NA into the system without category so all the items without category are assumed to be "Inbox".
                            If we're still talking about an electronic GTD inbox then I can see how this would work. In my GTD database the NA's are listed sorted by context and anything that doesn't have a context appears at the top (and looks all naked and demanding attention too). This has happened a few times when I hurridly put an NA in, and in my haste forgot to add a context. Next time I looked at the NA list the incomplete item was immediately seen and dealt with.

                            This is my own custom designed database thingy, but I presume that any electronic next action list would be sorted by context.

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